Activision Blizzard Stock Downgraded Over World of Warcraft Subscription Worries

Fears over the launch of BioWare's new MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic have spread into the stock market. 

Lazard Capital Markets has downgraded Activison Blizzard's stock from "buy" to "neutral" after a recent survey found that SWTOR could result in the loss of thousands, if not millions, of World of Warcraft subscribers.

Of the 381 online customers polled, the survey found that 50% plan to buy Star Wars: The Old Republic.  An additional 38% declared interest in the new MMO.  Granted, this is a minute fraction of the World of Warcraft playerbase, but it is enough to worry investors.

Lazard Cpaital Markets concluded that World of WArcraft could lose between 900,000 and 1.6 million players following the launch of The Old Republic in December.  This news comes just after Activision BLizzard's CEO Mike Morhaime revealed a decrease in 1.7 million WoW subscribers since October 2010.

Activision Blizzard has attempted to reverse the trend of losing subscribers by announcing a new Mists of Pandaria expansion and rolling out a new ad featuring the once-popular Chuck Norris.

Right now, all we have is speculation, but come the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic on December 20th we should have a more accurate view of where World of Warcraft stands.